The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have significant impact on the restaurant industry. Many have been forced to shut down. Others are reduced to takeout and curbside delivery. It is absolutely unchartered territory that feels catastrophic. Yet the industry is showing each day how it is more a restaurant community. Restaurants have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps to support their patrons, their staff, and the heroic folks on the front lines of this disaster.
Here are some of the many ways our restaurants are giving back and useful links to click on should you want to contribute.
The Meal Bridge
Grey Cohen, a sophomore from local Druid Hills High School started The Meal Bridge, a website that allows people to buy meals for the brave healthcare workers at hospitals. People can sign up for a time slot and choose the amount of people to feed. You are then instructed to place an order from a list of approved restaurants, including all necessary delivery details.
Restaurants are paired with nearby hospitals, and the restaurant is paid directly for the meals that are ordered. There are currently 16 hospitals participating. Purchasing a meal from a restaurants helps both the restaurant community and healthcare workers.
Atlanta Family Meal
Atlanta Family Meal is a community of chefs, restaurants, suppliers, community stakeholders, and hospitality workers that are working together to help give back and feed the Atlanta hospitality family. Michael Lennox ( CEO & Founder of Electric Hospitality- Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Golden Eagle, Muchacho), notes that “the Atlanta Family Meal movement is focused on building a virtual dinner table for the community to gather, share ideas, leverage resources, feed and provide support for hospitality workers experiencing distress.” A $20 donation will feed 4 “family meals.”
Delta has partnered with Linton Hopkins (Restaurant Eugene, Holeman and Finch, C. Ellet’s) to provide trays and packaging supplies to support food distribution with Atlanta Family Meal.
Atlanta Hawks Foundation/Miller Union/Storico Fresco
The charity arm of the Atlanta Hawks has partnered with State Farm to deliver meals for healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients at Emory Healthcare. The multi-week meal program also helps the restaurant community, allowing recently furloughed or laid off workers to be re-employed.
Miller Union and Storico Fresco prepare 4,000 meals per week to six hospitals, through funding by The Atlanta Hawks and State Farm.
Dominic Maschler is a Compositing/Visual Effects Director with Floyd County Productions and also an Atlanta bar regular. He created TipsyAtl to be able to engage with the bartenders and servers he missed. When you have a drink at home (doesn’t have to be alcoholic), take a moment to go to the site and tip a favorite. If you don’t see them listed, contact them to be added. There’s a place for this in the site. It grows each day as he updates. Servers and bartenders can add their info also.
Table & Aid
Table & Main (RO Hospitality) recently launched Table & Aid, focused on feeding anyone that is food insecure. Every Tuesday through Sunday, from noon- 4PM at the restaurant. “We offer a hot meal at no charge to anyone experiencing any level of food insecurity during this time,” the group posted. No questions asked. Donations can be made at Table & Main or by sending money directly to RO Hospitality owner Ryan Pernice through Venmo using username Ryan-Pernice. As of April 13, Table & Aid has served 2,750 people in need.
Table & Main. 1028 Canton St. Roswell. 678-869-5178. tableandmain.com.
Staplehouse Soup Kitchen
The accolades for Staplehouse are almost too many to mention (Best New Restaurant by Bon Appetit 2016, James Beard Award finalist). Reservations via Tock are snatched up as quickly as they come online. But as of March 21, the brick and mortar restaurant converted to The Giving Kitchen Soup Kitchen.” Their goal is to provide meals at zero cost to food service workers directly affected by the COVID-19 crisis who are unable to work. This also allows the Staplehouse team to remain employed while the restaurant it closed.
Under direction of Chef Ryan Smith, Staplehouse offers 50 takeaway meals per day for pickup only. Contact Staplehouse to reserve the takeaway box and schedule a pickup time—this prevents crowding. Pickup is between 1-4 PM. Email [email protected]. To help provide these meals, you can donate to the restaurant’s Venmo account @staplehouserestaurant.
Staplehouse (541 Edgewood Avenue, Atlanta; 404-524-5005, staplehouse.com)